Barack Hussein Obama

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Barack Hussein Obama
President Barack Obama.jpg
44th President of the United States
From: January 20, 2009-Present
Vice PresidentJoe Biden
PredecessorGeorge W. Bush
SuccessorIncumbent (no successor)
Former U.S. Senator from Illinois
From: January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008
PredecessorPeter Fitzgerald
SuccessorRoland Burris
Information
Party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama; may have had a prior marriage.[1]
Religion unknown (see Obama's religion)

Barack Hussein Obama II (reportedly born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961) is the 44th President of the United States. Through heavy use of early voting by the Democrat political machine, Obama was elected president in 2008 with 365 electoral votes and 53% of the popular vote. In 2012 he was elected to a second term with 332 electoral votes and 51% of the popular vote. Promoted heavily by liberals, as demonstrated by his unjustified receipt of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, Obama won the presidency despite a short and unremarkable political career by outspending his opponent, John McCain, by hundreds of millions of dollars in 2008[2], and spending more than a billion dollars from special interests to attain reelection in 2012.[3]

The liberal claptrap that helped elect Obama as president seems silly today. It was claimed, for example, that Obama has millions of followers on Twitter, when allegedly some 70% of them are fake.[4] And although the lamestream media promoted Obama as a great orator, in fact he relies almost entirely on teleprompters for his speeches and press conferences, and at one point even had teleprompters set up for him in a middle school classroom in order to speak to the media.

Obama is pro-abortion. In fact, he is the most pro-abortion president yet[5]. Obama has dedicated himself to promoting abortion—rather than reduce them as he promised. The president has done this by, just to name a few, expanding abortions through Obamacare, appointing many pro-abortion judges and officials, moving to strip medical professionals of rights of conscience, and forcing taxpayers to support the pro-abortion movement around the globe. During his campaigns Obama said that he intended to "spread the wealth around" and has been portrayed as saying that entrepreneurs and employers deserve no credit for building their businesses.[6] On March 1, 2013 Obama issued executive orders to implement his sequester of budget cuts which[7] has been widely criticized for destroying jobs in what was an anemic and fragile recovery.[8]

Warren L. Dean Jr., an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, wrote:

  • Washington has done more during Mr. Obama’s term in office to promote wealth and income inequality than at any other time in history. [10]

Former Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman endorsed Obama's opponent John McCain in 2008 and has declined to endorse Obama for the 2012 presidential election.[9]

Following the 2011 debt ceiling standoff between Obama and House Republicans,[10] the United States Government's credit rating was, for the first time in its history, downgraded from AAA to AA+, and poverty[11] increased markedly. By and large his programs, said to combat the recession, unemployment, slow growth, and deficits, have failed[12] leaving the the country saddled with a $16 trillion national debt and climbing.[13] One of his most well known tactics is blaming someone else, such as George W. Bush, for all his failures instead of taking responsibility. Also on the domestic front, Obama passed an expensive health care bill in 2010 with no national concensus or bipartisan support and 34 Democrats dissenting. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office wrote an open letter to John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, outlining the effects of repealing Obamacare and explaining why net loss of over 100 billion dollars would occur from the repeal. [11]

Americans deaths in Afghanistan have more than doubled under Obama's leadership compared with the preceding eight years of George Bush, according to the Congressional Research Service [14] Against his own Defense Secretary's advice, Obama attacked Libya - a possible violation of the War Powers Act. After he he took credit for the killing of September 11th mastermind terrorist Osama bin Laden, the U.S. State Department warned of increased risk to the lives and safety of Americans.[15] Bin Laden's successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri confirmed the Benghazi Attack which killed four State Department employees, was motivated by revenge.[16] Bin Laden's killing, however had negligible impact on Obama's approval ratings.[17]

Obama's bizarre gaffes, or Obamaisms, are frequent and embarrassing, but typically unreported by the liberal media. Some examples are: spelling respect as R-S-P-E-C-T when he was attempting to sing that line from Aretha Franklin's famous song, spelling Ohio as O-I-H-O, and saying that we build the Intercontinental Railroad instead of the Transcontinental Railroad, saying "How's it going, Sunshine" when he was in the city of Sunrise, Florida. [18]. Many hardworking American businessmen took offense to a 2012 campaign speech about the economy where he says "You didn't build that." Obama offended Poland by referring to the Nazi death camps there as "Polish death camps." Later Obama apologized.[19] Even the New York Times was critical of Obama's incessant boasting about the killing of bin Laden.[20]

Even according to a liberal NBC news poll, Obama's approval rating is a dismal 40%[21], showing that six in ten Americans disapprove of his liberal policies. Given that liberals frequently engage in deceit, the actual approval ratings could be much lower.

Biography

Birth

Contents

Main article : Early life and career of Barack Hussein Obama
See also : Barack Obama's Muslim Heritage

Obama claims to have been born in Hawaii to Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Obama Sr. - who had married just six months prior - on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii.[22] Some contend that this story is a complete fabrication. After many leading conservatives -- including the leadership of this site and Donald Trump -- called for Obama to release his birth certificate he produced a document that he claimed was his birth certificate on April 27, 2011. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona conducted an investigation of Obama's eligibility and questioned whether the alleged "birth certificate" was a fake; however, no charges have been filed. Obama was reportedly assigned a social security number whose area code was assigned to applications coming from zip codes in Connecticut.[23]

The original claims that Obama was born in Kenya come from the Obamas themselves. In 1991, Obama's literary agent, Acton & Dystel, published a promotional booklet that stated that Obama was born in Kenya. [24][25] The claim that Obama was born in Kenya remained on the agent's web site until 2007. [26] Internet archives confirm this information. [27] In addition to the information from literary agents, Michelle Obama stated in an interview that Kenya is Obama's "homeland".[28]

Barack Obama Sr. was not a citizen of the United States. At the time of Obama's birth, Kenya was a British colony, meaning that not only was Obama Sr. a British subject, but he passed that status on to his son. When Kenya gained independence, Obama and his father both ceased to be British subjects and became Kenyan citizens. Barack Obama was a dual citizen of the United States and Kenya until his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired in 1984, as he had failed to renounce US nationality and swear loyalty to Kenya. Even if he had been born with US citizenship through his mother, it has been argued that as he was born with dual nationality, he is not a natural-born citizen of the United States, and thus constitutionally ineligible to become President. Despite this, no court that has considered such arguments has accepted the proposition that Obama is not a natural-born citizen.[29]

Early Life

Obama's birth parents divorced in 1963 when his mother discovered Barack Obama Sr. was already married to a woman living in Kenya.[30] When Obama was 2 years old his mother married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian geologist. At age 6 his mother and adoptive father took him to Jakarta, Indonesia for 4 years while his mother pursued a Ph.D. in Anthropology requiring fieldwork there.[31] His mother then abandoned him in Hawaii with his grandparents (Stanley and Madelyn Dunham, who had moved to Hawaii in 1959) [32] so she could return to Indonesia after her divorce. Obama's grandfather arranged for his friend, the noted communist writer Frank Marshall Davis, to serve as a mentor and role model for an impressionable African-American youth.

Other siblings of Obama's include his half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng and 7 other children born to his father by 4 different women.[33] For much of his early life, prior to his transfer to Columbia University, he went by his nickname, "Barry." In the summer of 1988, before attending Harvard Law School (he'd just been accepted), he visited Kogelo, Kenya, to learn more about his father's family. When his mother died in 1995, he and his sister Maya scattered her ashes over Hawaii's south shore.[32]

Personal Life

Michelle (Robinson) Obama, wife of Barack Obama.

Barack Obama met his future wife, an attorney named Michelle Robinson, herself a recent Harvard Law School graduate, while he was an intern and she was on staff at Sidley Austin LLP, a prestigious corporate law firm.[22] Despite company policy prohibiting relations between staff and interns, the two started dating. The two continued dating long-distance while he finished law school, and on October 18, 1992,[34] were married by Reverend Jeremiah Wright at Trinity United Church.[32] In 1999, their first child was born, Malia, and in 2001, another daughter, Natasha (often called Sasha).[22]

Obama attended Reverend Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church from 1984-1988 during his time as a community organizer (See 1985-1988, Community Organizer section). Obama credits Wright with his alleged conversion to Christianity, and had both his daughters, Sasha and Malia, baptized there.[32]

Education

At age 6, Obama attended schools in Indonesia, the first a Catholic School while he was in Kindergarten, and later a public school. The school had mostly Muslim students (since most Indonesians are Muslim). In Dreams from My Father, Obama writes, "In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to my mother that I had made faces during Koranic studies."[35] Insight Magazine first reported Hillary Clinton's organization had "questions about Obama’s Muslim background: Are the American people ready for an elected president who was educated in a Madrassa as a young boy and has not been forthcoming about his Muslim heritage?"[36]

In 1971, at age 10, Barack Obama moved to Hawaii, and his grandparents helped him gain entrance to the prestigious Punahou Academy in Honolulu where he began substance abuse and illegal drugs.[37] He was accepted through a scholarship for disadvantaged minorities while he was in 5th grade.[32] At this elite high school with 1,200 students he was just 1 of 3 black students, and couldn't make the starting lineup of the state champion basketball team his senior year. He wrote a poem for the school's literary magazine, Ka Wai Ola.[33]

In 1979, he began a 2-year stint at Occidental College college in Los Angeles,[22] and then transferred to Columbia University in New York, which he graduated from in 1983.[38] During this time he published an anti-military tirade embracing Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev's [39] proposal for a nuclear freeze in the campus newspaper and allegedly spoke at an Anti-Apartheid rally,[32] although several prominent student leaders said they did not remember him there. Professor Michael L. Baron was impressed by Obama and wrote him a recommendation for Harvard Law School.[40] In the winter of 1988 Barack Obama decided to attend Harvard Law School, and left Chicago for Cambridge, Massachusetts. In his 2nd year a power struggle broke out among the dominant white liberals over control of the Harvard Law Review. Obama was elected its first black president as a compromise candidate largely with help of conservatives following a "marathon voting session" in which he finally won on the 19th ballot.[33] This led to national attention and numerous job offers, which Obama passed up, at age 30, to pursue his political career in Chicago.[22][32]

Early Employment

1983-1984, Financial Analyst and Writer

In 1984 Obama worked as a writer and financial analyst for Business International Corporation to help pay off some of his student loans. Business International Corporation was a small newsletter-publishing and research firm which aided multinational companies understand overseas markets. Obama served as a writer/researcher for a company reference service, Financing Foreign Operations, and wrote for their newsletter, Business International Money Report. His supervisor was Cathy Lazere. [40][41]

1984-1988, Community Organizer

In 1984, Obama was hired by the New York Public Interest Research Group, a non-profit organization promoting environmental, consumer, and government reforms. He also was paid just under $10,000 annually as a full-time organizer for Harlem's City College to mobilize student volunteers.[40]

From 1985-88, Obama worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago [42] funded with a $25,000 grant by Bill Ayers' Woods Fund. The New York Times reported he was paid $1,000 a year, with $2,000 extra for a car[32][43] however stories vary wildly. Jerry Kellman, who hired him, says it was "$10,000 a year and a $2,000 car allowance". Obama himself gave different numbers; his memoir says $10,000 (as well as the car), in his Wesleyan speech he gave it as "$12,000 a year plus $2,000 for an old, beat-up car", and when he announced his candidacy for president, it was "a group of churches had offered me a job as a community organizer for $13,000 a year".

Ryan Lizza at The New Republic reported that "Jean Rudd of the Woods Fund...had provided Kellman with his original $25,000 to hire Obama". Ari Berman reported in The Nation that the "[Woods Fund] gave a $25,000 grant to the Developing Communities Project, which hired Obama". CBS Channel 2 in Chicago ran a story with a document showing that Obama's proposed salary in 1987 was $25,000, a number that the Obama campaign confirmed while insisting at the same time his original salary was $13,000.[44]

During this time Obama joined Reverend Wright's Trinity United Church because in the words of Suzanne Malveaux of CNN, "It was the church to join if you wanted to be one of Chicago's black movers and shakers." At the time, community organizing involved close affiliation with churches, which was how Obama met Wright. Obama abandoned the fight against asbestos contamination in the Altgeld Gardens housing project to pursue personal interests and a career by enrollment at Harvard Law School in the winter of 1988.[32]

1988-1996, Law Practice

In 1988 Obama gained work as a Summer Associate at one of the most prestigious corporate law firms in the world, Sidley Austin LLP[45][32], owned by Newton Minow, thanks to the recommendation of Minow's daughter Martha, a professor at Harvard Law School. It was at Minow's law firm that Obama would meet Michelle Robinson, his future wife.[33] From 1993-96 he practiced civil rights law including suing Citibank to force them into making subprime mortgages to unqualified minority borrowers.[46] After graduating from Harvard he was hired by Miner, Barnhill, & Galland, a small politically-connected law firm.[45] It was at Miner, Barnhill, & Galland that he would meet influential real estate developer Tony Rezko.[32]

1991-1992, Project Vote

In 1991 Obama was recruited by Sandy Newman to head the Chicago chapter of Project Vote![32], and in 1992 was the Executive Director, overseeing a voter registration drive which registered 125,000 black voters and was credited with defeating an incumbent Democrat in the primary and electing U.S. Senator Carol Mosely Braun.[33][38]

1995, Nation of Islam

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, prior to the information being scrubbed from its website in mid-April 2008 during the Democratic Presidential Primaries, Obama was one of three prominent organizers of the Nation of Islam's Million Man March on Washington, D.C.[47]

1992-2004, Lecturer at University of Chicago

Obama taught part-time at the University of Chicago Law School[33] from 1992-2004. Though Obama erroneously describes himself as a "constitutional law professor"[48], he was actually only a senior lecturer and the class he taught the most times was called "Current Issues in Racism and the Law".[49] He was a Lecturer from 1992-96, teaching 3 courses per year, and a senior lecturer from 1996-2004. After Obama was criticized for lying about his job title, the University of Chicago released a statement stating that senior lecturers are considered Law School faculty and regarded as professors but not full-time or tenured. Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time, tenured track position several times during this period but declined each time.[50]

1995, Author

In 1995 Obama published Dreams From My Father about his life and family background.[22]

Personal Awards

2009 Nobel Peace Prize

On October 9, 2009 Barack H. Obama became the third sitting U.S. President[51] to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".[52] Obama stated that he was "surprised and deeply humbled" to receive the unexpected award,[53] and also said, "To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who have inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace".[51] The award was widely criticized given Obama's then lack of accomplishments.[54]

1996-2003, Illinois State Senate

1996 Election

Main article: Radical roots of Barack Hussein Obama

In 1995 a cadre of like minded individuals gathered for a fundraising event in the early career of Barack Obama hosted by Weather Underground (WUO) terrorist William "Bill" Ayers. Besides Obama, those in attendance were Ayers wife Bernardine Dohrn,[55] and Carl Davidson, veterans of guerrilla warfare training in Cuba just prior 1968 Democratic National Convention riots. Ayers and Dohrn have taken credit for, and never denied, bombing the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and the State Department.

Ayers and Dohrn used their celebrity status among leftists to launch Obama's career. Ayers, Dohrn and Jeff Jones[56] are authors of Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-imperialism, the title taken from The Sayings of Mao Zedong.[57] The book declares "we are communist men and women."[58] Ayers later jokingly, publicly admitted to ghostwriting Obama's book, Dreams From My Father[59] and Obama was to appoint several openly avowed Maoists to prominent White House and Executive Branch positions.[60]

Knocking Candidates Off the Ballot

Barack Obama ran for the Illinois state senate in 1996. He was initially supported by incumbent Alice Palmer, who declared she would run for the U.S. Congress. However, when her bid for Congress failed on November 28, 1995, she tried to run for her old seat in the March 1996 election. Her supporters asked Obama to step aside, although whether this was with her permission remains uncertain.[38] Not only did Obama not step down, he gathered a team of high-priced lawyers, including fellow Harvard Law School graduate Thomas Johnson, to challenge his opponent's petition signatures on technicalities after the filing deadline had passed. Such tactics are legal and frequently used in Chicago; in 2006 they eliminated 67 of the 245 aldermanic candidates;[61] yet nevertheless led to the term "hardball" by the New York Times[38] and "cutthroat" by David Mendel as reported by both CNN[32] and MSNBC.[22] The Chicago Tribune declared Obama had mastered "the bare-knuckle arts of Chicago electoral politics", noting "The man now running for president on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it."[61] As one of Obama's four opponents, eliminated through his ballot challenges, would put it:

"Why say you're for a new tomorrow, then do old-style Chicago politics to remove legitimate candidates? He talks about honor and democracy, but what honor is there in getting rid of every other candidate so you can run scot-free? Why not let the people decide?"

-Gha-is Askia, 1996 Illinois Senate candidate[62]

Mark Ewell, another candidate, filed 1,286 signatures, and Obama's challenges left him 86 short of the minimum requirement (757[63]). Ewell filed a federal lawsuit contesting the election board's decision but Tom Johnson intervened, and Ewell's case was dismissed just a few days later. Ewell and other Obama opponents were using early 1995 polling sheets to verify signatures of registered voters, but city authorities had just purged 15,871 unqualified people from the 13th district list, and Obama's challenges used the more recent, updated list. Askia was left 69 signatures short of the requirement. If names were printed instead of signed in cursive, they were declared invalid. If they were good but the person registering the signatures wasn't a registered voter (e.g. underage) they were invalid.[64] Palmer had according to Obama campaign consult Ronald Davis, used two children to help gather her petition signatures. To this day Palmer denies the challenges were valid, and maintains she could have overcome the objections with more time and resources.[61] Thanks to his lawyers, Obama would win the election without a single other candidate on the ballot.

2000 Election

Main Article: Illinois 1st congressional district election, 2000

In 2000, Obama lost his only political election when he chose to run against experienced incumbent and former Black Panther and Bobby L. Rush for the U.S. Congress in a 65% black district. Rush's name recognition began at 90%, Obama's at 11%. Michelle Obama opposed taking on an such an iconic figure dear to the community and threatened divorce.[65] Establishment Democrats considered Obama "a white man in blackface".[66] Rush said of Obama, “He went to Harvard and became an educated fool,” adding, “We’re not impressed with these folks with these eastern elite degrees.”[67]Todd Spivak would give voice to this impression of Obama, noting that

"My view of Obama then wasn't all that different from the image he projects now....One thing I can say is, I never heard him launch into the preacher-man voice he now employs during speeches. He sounded vanilla, and activists in his mostly black district often chided him for it."[63]
Rush would go on to win the Primary with 61.02% of the vote; Obama received 30.36%.[43] The loss led to Obama considering dropping out of politics altogether, particularly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, since his name sounds similar to "Osama bin Laden".[22]

State Senate Voting Record

Obama speaking at the October 2002 anti-War rally in Chicago organized by Carl Davidson.[68] Unlike Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, Obama took the rather unpopular position against "dumb wars".

Obama entered the Illinois Senate promising change to a corrupt system. He mixed often radical votes with more pragmatic agreements. Possibly one of his most radical votes was against requiring medical care for aborted children who survive the procedure - in fact the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council ascribed him a 100% rating for his consistently pro-choice votes.[69] He was criticized for using the statehouse as a stepping stone for a more illustrious career: Steven J. Rauschenberger, a Republican, said prior to Obama's election as president: “He is a very bright but very ambitious person who has always had his eyes on the prize, and it wasn’t Springfield. If he deserves to be president, it is not because he was a great legislator.”[70]

The statehouse was majority Republican, so the Senator was sometimes forced to compromise. He formed allegiances across party lines to pass campaign finance reform that banned most gifts by lobbyists, prohibited spending campaign money for legislators’ personal use and required electronic filing of campaign disclosure reports.[70] Obama also helped pass a so-called “driving-while-black bill”, which required the police to collect data on the race of drivers they stopped as a way to monitor racial profiling.[70]

Obama established himself as a chief spokesperson in opposition to the War on Terror during an October 2002 rally at Federal Plaza in Chicago[71] organized by veteran Maoist and webmaster of Progressives for Obama,[72] Carl Davidson.

2003 Emil Jones Deal

Main Article: 2003 Barack Obama deal with Emil Jones

When Illinois' U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald announced he would be retiring in April 2003, Obama jumped at the opportunity, declaring that he would be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2004.[22] To boost his chances Obama approached the newly crowned president of the Illinois Senate, Emil Jones Jr., with a proposal. According to Jones, whom Obama has since called his "godfather"[73] the conversation went as follows:

"After I was elected president, in 2003, he came to see me, a couple months later. And he said to me, he said, ‘You’re the senate president now, and with that, you have a lot of pow-er.’  And I told Barack, ‘You think I got a lot of pow-er now?,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, you got a lot of pow-er.’ And I said, ‘What kind of pow-er do I have?’ He said, ‘You have the pow-er to make a United States sen-a-tor!’  I said to Barack, I said, ‘That sounds good!’ I said, ‘I haven’t even thought of that.’ I said, ‘Do you have someone in mind you think I could make?,’ and he said, ‘Yeah. Me.’ "[33][38]

Because of the deal, Obama's entire Illinois Senate legislative record was, as longtime Obama reporter Todd Spivak put it, built in a single year. During his 7th and final year in the Illinois Senate, Obama sponsored an incredible 26 bills into law, including many he now points to when criticized as inexperienced[63] - as CNN's Suzanne Malveaux observed, "With help from on high, Obama got his name on hundreds of bills that he pushed through."[32] Jones not only had Obama craft legislation addressing daily tragedies to raise his political profile[73], he also appointed Obama head of almost all high-profile legislation in the Illinois Senate, angering other state legislators with more seniority who'd spent years supporting the bills.[63] Illinois State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of the famous racial profiling bill requiring videotaped confessions in police interrogations, complained bitterly about Jones' decision.[32][74] Jones' influence had a major impact on Obama's chances in the 2004 elections, preventing major political players from backing Obama's opponents. To quote Emil Jones,

"He knew if he had me in the run for the Senate, it would put a block on the current mayor. The current mayor and the father of the controller, which was Dan Hynes, they were roommates in Springfield when the mayor was a state senator, so they had a relationship. Another big financial backer for the governor was Blair Hull. Barack knew if he had me it would checkmate the governor, ’cause the governor couldn’t come out and go with Blair Hull, ’cause the governor needs me. Same with the mayor. So he had analyzed and figured all of that out. He knew I could help him with labor support. And I could put a checkmate on some of the local politicians that didn’t know him, but they couldn’t really go against me."

-Emil Jones[33]

2004-2008, U.S. Senate

See also: Barack Obama:U.S. Senate (2004-2008), United States Senate election in Illinois, 2004
Senator Barack Obama

2004 Primary Election

Despite initially trailing in the polls to frontrunner Blair Hull[74], Obama greatly benefited from what the Chicago Tribune called "the most inglorious campaign implosion in Illinois political history"[75] when pressure from journalists and opposing candidates, just weeks before the election, forced the unsealing of Hull's messy divorce files.[76] The files revealed Hull's ex-wife's accusations of verbal and physical abuse.[63] Hull would afterwards criticize the media, stating, "As for the press, I will never read the newspaper the same way again."[75] Obama would go on to win the Primary with 53% of the vote.[76] Obama's unexpected victory led to him being termed a "rising star" by the media.[77]

2004 General Election, Jack Ryan

Once again Obama found himself trailing to popular frontrunner Jack Ryan, and once again a candidate's campaign imploded thanks to media intervention. In an unprecedented move, the Chicago Tribune and local TV station WLS sued to force the unsealing of Ryan's divorce files, despite opposition from both Ryan and his wife, Jeri Ryan, who in the files accused Jack Ryan of trying to coerce her to perform sex acts in public. Though Ryan advisors told him he could still win if using a negative attack on Obama, Ryan refused to engage in what he considered dirty politics.[78] Ryan then dropped out of the race (per request by the Illinois GOP[79]), following which the Illinois GOP scrambled to find a replacement, leaving Obama uncontested for weeks to campaign and build up public support. On top of all this, Obama was selected to give the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (July 27[80]), catapulting him into the national spotlight, and leading to further media publicity terming him a "rising star".[81]

2004 General Election, Alan Keyes

Main Article: Obama born alive controversy

After a number of candidates including former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka declined to run[82], the Illinois GOP finally settled on fiery Alan Keyes, a former Ambassador to the Economic and Social Counsel of the United Nations[63], with less than 3 months left before the November 2004 election.[22] His sudden entrance into the state for the election was initially attacked in the press as "carpetbagging".[83][84] Keyes repeatedly claimed his primary motivation for entering a race he had seemingly no chance of winning was his disgust at Obama's votes on the popular Born Alive bills.[85] Keyes, from his first day of arriving in Illinois (August 9, 2004)[86], accused Obama of having voted against bills mandating medical care for newborn children, and supporting "infanticide" (the term twice used in the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act[87]) where hospitals left newborn infants to die like garbage.[88] Obama in a debate on October 13, 2004, defended himself against Keyes' accusations of infanticide by claiming that Illinois law was already sufficient.[89]

However, Keyes' rhetoric, calling Obama's votes "the slaveholder's position"[86] and saying "Jesus Christ would not vote for Obama"[90] was widely ridiculed by the press. Keyes' unabashed criticism of homosexuality as "selfish hedonism" was also targeted.[84][91] Obama would ultimately win the election, 70% to 27%.[92]

U.S. Senate Voting Record

Obama's incomplete term in the U.S. Senate was largely unoteworthy. In voting against raising the debt limit in 2006 Obama famously said, "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. ... I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit."[93][94] In 2008 as candidate for president Obama called George W. Bush's request to raise the debt limit "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic".[95]

The National Journal ranked him the most liberal senator in 2007.[96]

Obama frequently used the filibuster to obstruct the operations of government,[97] and voted against the minimum wage bill[98] he introduced because it included a provision to pay active duty U.S. troops. He voted for the $700 billion TARP program to bailout the big banks after receiving more than $120,000 in contributions from Fannie Mae, a government sponsored entity[99] taken into conservatorship for mismanaging its affairs and responsible for all the big bank's problems.

According to Opensecrets.org, of the 671,269 contributions to Obama during his time in the Senate, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley were among the top 20 biggest money donors to his campaigns. [12][13] All four subsequently received approximately $70 billion in taxpayer assisted bailout money from the TARP program he voted for.[100] UBS AG, a foreign bank and the 12th largest donor to Obama,[101] was fined $780 billion in February 2009 in a U.S. Federal Court on charges it helped thousands of Americans evade taxes.[102]

2008 Presidential Election

Main article: Barack Hussein Obama 2008 Presidential campaign

Unlike Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, Obama's hands were not stained with a vote for the Iraqi war resolution, as he was not in the Senate at the time; a minority of Democrats who wanted to punish candidates for exhibiting bi-partisanship began calling for his candidacy after liberals lauded his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech.

Primary Election

In 2007-08, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton competed for the Democratic nomination. Hillary Clinton cleverly resurrected the "Born Alive" controversy surrounding Obama that had lain largely dormant since 2004 (notwithstanding the continuing mentions by Jill Stanek), by accusing Obama of not being pro-choice for voting "Present" on a number of abortion-related bills[103] - including the Born Alive ones,[104] and cowardly ducking the votes.[105] This led to criticism of Obama by two pro-choice organizations, Emily's List, and the National Organization for Women.[106] However, Pam Sutherland, the long-time head of Illinois Planned Parenthood, came to Obama's aid, criticizing Clinton for making the attack, and stating repeatedly that Obama's present votes were part of a broader strategy used by Planned Parenthood to keep Illinois voters from knowing their state senators were voting against the controversial and popular bills.[107]

"He came to me and said: ‘My members are being attacked. We need to figure out a way to protect members and to protect women. A ‘present’ vote was hard to pigeonhole which is exactly what Obama wanted. What it did was give cover to moderate Democrats who wanted to vote with us but were afraid to do so" because of how their votes would be used against them electorally. A ‘present’ vote would protect them. Your senator voted ‘present.’ Most of the electorate is not going to know what that means."

-Pam Sutherland, President/CEO of Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, 1980-2012[108]

As the contest in Iowa drew near and the former First Lady's inevitability was being usurped by a challenger, Hillary Clinton organizers began circulating rumors that Obama was secretly a Muslim.[109] Clinton also made the claim repeatedly that while Obama was leading in Delegates she was winning the Popular Vote[110], though this was in part because Obama hadn't been registered in Michigan.[111] Obama's advantage with super-delegates over Clinton was about 2-to-1.[112] Obama was able to attract the support of liberals by pointing out that he had come out against the Iraq War "from the beginning" whereas Clinton had voted in favor of the war in 2002.[113] On June 7, 2008, Hillary Clinton withdrew from the Primaries, conceding the race and endorsing her opponent[114], when Obama passed the 2,118 Delegates required; winning 2,201 delegates to Clinton's 1,896.[115]

Born Alive Record Resurfaces

On June 30, 2008, Obama's voting record on the "Born Alive" bills came once more to the forefront when CNN gave voice to the growing controversy and revealed the defense Obama had been using since 2004-2008, that the Illinois bills he'd voted against were different from the federal bill, was false, since he'd brought up for a vote a bill word for word identical to the federal bill in the Health and Human Services Committee he chaired, and voted against it, defeating it.[116] This led in August to a confrontation between Obama and the NRLC.[117] After Obama accused critics of 'lying'[118] the NRLC challenged the assertion, and the Obama campaign conceded he "misspoke" and had voted against an identical bill to the "federal bill that everybody supported" but focused on Obama's new claim, that Illinois law was already sufficient to protect newborn children.[119] The NRLC promptly declared "Senator Barack Obama's four-year effort to cover up his full role in killing legislation to protect born-alive survivors of abortions continues to unravel."[120]

Jeremiah Wright

See also: Barack Obama and Liberation Theology

One major dilemma that arose for Obama during his campaign was his connection to his preacher Jeremiah Wright. Obama and his wife (raised a Baptist) were members of the Trinity United Church of Christ[121] in Chicago, a church that embraced black liberation theology and its emphasis on empowering so-called "oppressed groups" against "establishment forces". This denomination was the first in America to ordain gays as ministers.[122] Church pastor Jeremiah Wright had been making inflammatory comments and posting his sermons online for sale. These include the statement "G-d damn America," and in describing the September 11th attacks, "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."[123] In addition, Rev. Wright blamed America saying "We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic."

In April 2008, after 20 years in the church, candidate Obama made public statements poised to set him at odds with the man who conducted his wedding and baptized his children. With the negative publicity persisting, a month later Obama ended the friendship, left Wright's church, and blamed the media.[124] Obama claimed “It’s not fair to the other members of the church who seek to worship in peace...", and distanced himself from Wright's sermons as "a bunch of rants that aren't grounded in the truth."[125][126]

Result

Obama made an effort to portray John McCain as similar to George W. Bush, drawing attention to McCain's refusal to criticize the unpopular president. McCain was particularly criticized for saying of how many years we should be willing to stay in Iraq, "Make it a hundred."[127]

"John McCain went on television and said that there has been great progress economically over the last seven-and-a-half years. John McCain thinks our economy has made great progress under George W. Bush? How could somebody who has been traveling across this country, somebody who came to Erie, Pennsylvania, say we’ve made great progress?"

-Barack Obama[128]

On August 22nd, Obama selected Joe Biden as his running mate for the vice presidency[129], which would be contrasted one week later with John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin.[130]

On November 2, 2008, Barack Obama won the presidential election with 365 electoral votes to John McCain's 173.[131] Obama received 53% of the popular vote to John McCain's 46%.[132]

2009-: U.S. Presidency

Main article: Obama administration
President Barack Obama meets with former President George H. W. Bush in the Oval Office, Feb. 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).

Five years into Obama's presidency the number of people holding jobs still was 3 million below the all time high of 138 million[133] workers - despite an increase of 10 million people in population over the same period of time.[134] Under Obama and Senate Democrats[135] budget management, the United States suffered its largest deficits[136] in history and its credit-worthiness downgraded from Standard & Poors. Obama assured Americans that unemployment would not rise above 8% if his economic stimulus program was adopted, however it rose and stagnated in the 8-10% range[137][138] for the entirety of his first term.

Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen, writing in the Wall Street Journal, noted, "Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship." The commentators also note Obama's approach to governance has encouraged radical leftists to pursue a similar strategy on his behalf. Mary Frances Berry, former head of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, acknowledged that the Obama administration has taken to polarizing America around the issue of race as a means of diverting attention from other issues, saying, "Having one's opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."[139] Caddell and Schoen, who worked for President Carter and Clinton, respectively, further stated, "Mr. Obama has also cynically divided the country on class lines. He has taken to playing the populist card time and time again. He bashes Wall Street and insurance companies whenever convenient to advance his programs, yet he has been eager to accept campaign contributions and negotiate with these very same banks and corporations behind closed doors in order to advance his political agenda... President Obama's divisive approach to governance has weakened us as a people and paralyzed our political culture."[140]

Domestic policy

Economic policy

Barack Obama advocates the use of discredited Keynesian economic concepts[141]
See also: Obamunism and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Critics of the Obama administration have coined the word "Obamunism" to describe Barack Obama's socialistic and "fascism light" economic planning policies.[142][143][144] Obamunism can also refer to Obama's ruinous fiscal policies and reckless monetary policies.[145][146][147] As seen in his own actions, Barack Obama instructed his advisors to find loopholes that would enable the president to act as a dictator by pushing through legislation and increases in spending without congressional authority.[148]

Nevertheless, budgets passed under President Obama have included the smallest average annualized growth of federal spending (1.4%) since before President Reagan. Federal spending grew an average of 8.7% per year during Reagan's first term and an average of 8.1% per year during George W. Bush's second term.[149]

Wall Street firms and banks that were bailed out were among Obama's biggest campaign supporters.[150] Therefore, the Obama administration bailouts of corrupt, unproductive, and reckless Wall Street firms was hardly surprising, and many argue that it was not helpful in making the United States economy more productive and prosperous by encouraging more risk taking through letting banks off with a slap on the wrist. Others argue that bailing out the banks kept credit flowing and prevented a much deeper recession and a total collapse of the financial system. The government will recoup some though not all of its capital infusions over time. A 2005 study found that government corporate bailouts are often done for mere political considerations and the economic resources allocated exhibit significantly worse economic performance than resources allocated using purely business considerations.[151] Proponents of free market capitalism said Bernanke should not have bailed out failing firms and instead should have allowed free market capitalism to quickly recover as it did in the depression of 1920 without government intervention (free market capitalists assert that government intervention drags out economic recessions and depressions).[152]

Top trend forecaster Gerald Celente predicts that the corrupt economic policies of the Obama administration will lead to a second great depression (Celente predicted the 1987 US stock market crash, the dot.com crash, the US 2008/2009 recession, and the collapse of the USSR in the early 1990s) and may lead to a "second American Revolution" (Celente predicted the tax protests that are now occurring in America).[153][154] Celente also asserts that the costly and inefficient temporary short term methods that the Obama administration is using to alleviate economic problems in the short term (which is causing massive increases in Obama administration deficit spending) is only making matters worse and will not prevent the worse economic depression in United States history from occurring.[155][156]

The Obama administration has been sharply criticized for its massive deficit spending and its reckless monetary policy via vast increases in the money supply, although inflation under Bernanke has been below the historic mean.[145][146][157] Celente predicts that if a "second American Revolution" occurs in a peaceful and productive manner, it may include a third party movement of governance that will advocate a more free market capitalism approach to the American economy and a more strict interpretation of the United States constitution as far as the authors' original intent.[153][154]

During what the White House billed as Recovery Summer, one half million workers per week continued losing their jobs. His signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare,has been found to be unconstitutional[158] by several judges and constitutional by others, and is credited as a major cause of uncertainty, high unemployment,[159] lagging job creation,[160] and risk of a credit default crisis.[161][162]

His 2012 Budget plan has been roundly criticized in the mainstream and liberal press as not a serious effort to deal with the nation's economic crisis.[163]

Jeffrey Tucker wrote, "President Obama's economic policy has been catastrophic for liberty, enterprise, and the American dream—the very archetype of what not to do to end recession." [14]

Stimulus
See also: Recovery Summer

In early 2009, Obama lobbied Congress and the public to pass a sweeping Stimulus package[164] known as The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1).[165] The report of the Congressional Budget Office mandated by law stated that the legislation would ultimately harm the economy.[166] Contrary to his promise of bipartisanship,[167] the bill passed the House 244-188 on January 28, 2009 with 11 Democrats voting with the entire Republican caucus against,[168] and received just 3 Republican votes when passing the Senate 61-37.[169] One third of the massive $838 billion bill consisted of backdoor tax expenditures[170] and the rest direct new spending on "just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years."[171] In responding to criticism of the broken bipartisanship promise at the time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously quipped, "We won the election. We wrote the bill."[172] On February 18, 2009, the Stimulus was signed into law by Obama.[173] In August 2009, Republicans and Democratic Senator David Obey drew attention to mistakes on the Recovery.gov site claiming millions of Stimulus jobs created that didn't exist. Obama responded by saying the errors just indicate his accounting is an "inexact science".[174]

Sequestration

According to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, Obama misled the American people in a Presidential debate only two weeks before the 2012 election when he said, "The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,”[175] when in fact his chief budget negotiator and current Chief of Staff, Jack Lew, made a call to Democrat Harry Reid at 2:30 pm on July 27, 2011 with the proposal after clearing it with Obama,[176] as fully documented in Woodward's book, The Price of Politics. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned of immediate jobloss of about 750,000 jobs - about the same level as under George W. Bush[177] - if Obama's budget and economic plans were allowed to take effect.[178]

Woodward, who's reporting on Watergate is credited with toppling the administration of Richard Nixon, told Wolf Blitzer of CNN he was told by a senior White House official he'd regret talking about the President Obama's positions on the sequester.[179]

Healthcare mandates

Main article: Obamacare

On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the unpopular Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The act originated in the Democratically controlled House and was amended and passed the Senate just prior to Sen. Ted Kennedy's death largely along party lines with a significant number of Democrats voting to oppose. In what was construed as a de facto rejection of the bill, Massachusetts voters elected a Republican candidate, Scott Brown, who promised to vote against the bill if given the chance.[180] After Obama made a promise to issue an executive order that would ultimately prohibit the use of taxpayer subsidies to pay for abortion services,[181] the Democratic House of Representatives would pass the bill as it left the Senate 219-212, with 34 Democrats and all other parties dissenting.[182]

Amongst other things, the act mandated that everyone purchase health care coverage or face punitive tax measures, and was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Regulatory reform

Obama criticized the "revolving door" of government and business.[183] After appointing Peter Orszag his first Budget Director to dole out the stimulus cash, Orszag resigned to become Citigroup's Vice Chairman of Global Banking. Citigroup was the recipient of $476 billion in bailout money - more than any other bank - after the disastrous Financial crisis of 2008.[184] Before the bailout, Orszag's expert opinion of the chances of a mortgage meltdown were 1 in 500,000.[185]

Environment and energy

Main article: Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster

President Obama authorized offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico[186] stating, "oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills"[187] and was widely criticized for his mishandling of the "worst environmental disaster in US history."[188][189]

Reverses Clinton era gay discrimination

Main article: Don't Ask Don't Tell

Candidate Obama promised to repeal a policy that originated with President Clinton and passed by a Democratically controlled Congress that prohibited inquiries into military personnel's sexual orientation while barring openly gay homosexuals from serving in the military. Liberals expressed anger when time passed and no effort to repeal the law was seen;[190] in fact, Obama's justice department, as part of their duty to defend all laws passed by any administration, filed a brief arguing against the Supreme Court granting a writ of certiorari to a gay soldier challenging the law (the writ was not granted). In response, the soldier, James Pietrangelo II, a former Army infantryman and lawyer, said, “[Obama's] a coward, a bigot and a pathological liar. This is a guy who spent more time picking out his dog, Bo, and playing with him on the White House lawn than he has working for equality for gay people."[191]

On December 15th, 2010, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives to repeal the law - it passed a day later by a vote of 250-175;[192] it passed the Senate three days later 65-31.[193] Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 on December 22nd.[194] The Pentagon itself could not immediately implement the repeal and questioned whether it would hurt combat readiness.[194]

Labor law and compensation to 9/11 first responders

Obama's first act of office was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act - effectively nullifying the Supreme Court case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which ruled that Ledbetter had to have filed a pay discrimination suit within 180 days of the first time Ledbetter was paid less than her male peers;[195] the law made corporations subject to suit within 180 days of each time the employee was unfairly paid.[196]

On January 2, 2011, Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Healthcare and Compensation Act.[197] The act, which afforded 9/11 first responders who were sickened by the dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center health care and compensation, passed Congress after its sponsors agreed to scale down the pricing from 7.4 to 4.2 billion dollars.[198]

Foreign policy

At Western Wall, Jerusalem, 2008.

As Senator, Obama was highly critical of President Bush and promised change. As President, Obama has tripled down in Afghanistan, widened the war into Pakistan, multiplied drone attacks, bombed Yemen and Somalia, and started an undeclared NATO war in Libya. On presidential war powers, surveillance questions, Guantanamo, detention policy and habeas corpus, Obama has similarly stayed the course, or expanded Bush's precedents. In a speech on May 19, 2011 Obama fully embraced the Bush Doctrine of preventative war.[199]

From the Boston Globe:

'The New America Foundation, which tracks the strikes, has listed 23 raids since the beginning of April, 2011, all but one in Pakistan’s tribal regions of North and South Waziristan. A June 20 attack was reported in Kurram, an area north of North Waziristan along the Afghanistan border.'
'The drone program has become increasingly controversial as the Obama administration has expanded its use beyond the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Lethal missiles have been launched from unmanned aircraft in at least five countries in addition to Pakistan: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and, most recently, Somalia. The military’s Joint Special Operations Command used a drone last June to attack what officials said were two senior members of the Al Shabab militant group on the Somali coast.' [200]

A commentator says:

'Obama is commendable when he says he wants to avoid war. His policies, however, favor war by destabilizing the Middle East making it extremely hostile and favoring radical Islam over America’s ally, Israel, and American interests in the region... The president has chosen a very dangerous path for every American and one that promises great difficulty for Israel.' [201]

Commander-in-chief

By Obama's third year as Commander-in-Chief, over 1200 American troops died in Iraq and Afghanistan - significantly more than the number who died during President George W. Bush's term of office. And growing numbers of civilian contractors also have fallen. In the first half of 2010, 250 contractors reportedly died in Iraq and Afghanistan - more than the 235 military personnel who fell during the same period.[202]

National Defense

President Obama signed into U.S. law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), only after his administration successfully lobbied to remove language from the bill that would have protected American citizens from being detained indefinitely without trial.[203] After the legislation cleared Congress, the ACLU commented that if President Obama signed the bill it "will damage both his legacy and American’s reputation for upholding the rule of law," while executive director of the Human Rights Watch blasted the President for being ‘on the wrong side of history,’ noting that "Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law."[204]

Section 1031 of the NDAA bill, which itself defines the entirety of the United States as a “battlefield,” allows American citizens to be snatched from the streets, carted off to a foreign detention camp and held indefinitely without trial. As reported by Infowars.com, the bill states that “any person who has committed a belligerent act” faces indefinite detention, but no trial or evidence has to be presented, the White House merely needs to make the accusation.[205]

Al Qaeda and Libya

Main article: Libyan uprising 2011

In February 2011, the political unrest that spread through the Arab world showed up as protests in Libya. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, leader of Libya for 41 years, responded to the violence[206] with legitimate steps.[207] The United Nations Security Council voted to impose sanctions, and later passed a resolution to protect civilians. Obama, without approval from Congress and over the objections of his own National Security staff,[208] directed American forces to take out Libya's air defense system.[207] Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, and White House counterterrorism chief John O. Brennan all opposed the action. Obama later said, "if we waited one more day Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world."[209] Alan J. Kuperman, in an editorial for the Boston Globe - suggested this statement was false, writing, "intervention did not prevent genocide, because no such bloodbath was in the offing. To the contrary, by emboldening rebellion, US interference has prolonged Libya’s civil war and the resultant suffering of innocents."[210] Kuperman, a professor of public affairs at the University of Texas who authored a book called The Limits of Humanitarian Intervention, further stated that the rebels had tricked the world into thinking a bloodbath was at hand and that Obama had lied to the American people in order to act on this theory.[210]

Gaddafi [never] threaten civilian massacre in Benghazi, as Obama alleged. The “no mercy’’ warning, of March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by The New York Times, which noted that Libya’s leader promised amnesty for those “who throw their weapons away.’’ Gaddafi even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight “to the bitter end.’’ [211]

Gaddafi wrote to Obama and told him he bore no ill will. "We have been hurt more morally than physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you," he wrote. "Despite all this you will always remain our son whatever happened. We still pray that you continue to be president of the USA. We endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaign."[212]

Aid to violent Islamists

A March 29, 2011 article in the Washington Post included these paragraphs:

"It’s almost a certitude that at least part” of the Libyan opposition includes members of al-Qaeda, said Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA analyst and adviser to President Obama. Riedel said that anti-Gaddafi elements in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi have had “very close associations with al-Qaeda” dating back years....I would hope that we now have a good sense of the opposition in Libya and can say that this is 2 percent, not 20 percent,” Riedel said. “If we don’t, then we are running the risk of helping to bring to power a regime that could be very dangerous.[213]

This set off a fierce debate in the Obama administration over the wisdom of arming terrorists.[214] It is now known sometime prior to March 31, 2011,[215] at the urging of Hillary Clinton[216] and over the objections of his National Security Council, Obama signed a Presidential Finding authorizing support for the rebel jihadis.[217]

By October 2011, Libyan rebel fighting groups with support from NATO overtook the capital and toppled the government. Gaddafi was captured and brutally and sadistically murdered.[218] The jihadis were immediately recognized by the U.S. and the U.N. as the new legitimate government. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, announced Sharia will be the source for all legislation and all laws conflicting with Sharia are null and void.[219] Abdel Rahim al-Kib, the country's interim prime minister, echoed Jalil's words days later.[220] The al Qaeda flag was flown above the Benghazi courthouse, and reports surfaced that the Libyan jihadis had imposed Sharia law in some parts of the country even earlier.[219] By February 17, 2013, four foreign nationals were arrested for distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty[221]

U.S. Ambassador murdered
For a more detailed treatment, see Benghazi Attack.

With several U.S.embassies besieged on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declared there was no reason to believe the attack on the sovereign territory of the United States consulate in Benghazi, less than two months before the 2012 Presidential election which killed Americans, was a terrorist attack.

The unrest that we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims, many Muslims, find offensive.

This became the official White House line. Between laughs with Jon Stewart on the Comedy Channel, Obama said the death of Americans was "not optimal".[222] When pressed by reporters, who pointed out evidence that the violence in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, Press Secretary Carney argued “the unrest around the region has been in response to this video.”

Leading suspected jihadis in the murders and terrorist attack were the local Benghazi branch of Ansar al-Shariah, known to have ties to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.[223] A commander of the terrorist group boasted jovially about the attack over drinks with reporters for the New York Times in Benghazi[224].[225]

Al Qaeda in the Maghreb

Two more Americans were killed, along with 35 others, after being taken hostage by rebel jihadists in Mali shortly after the Libyan upheaval.[226]

Hillary Clinton testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the wake of the Benghazi murders under her stewardship, that weapons and fighters equipped by the Obama administration made their way to Mali and Algeria:

There is no doubt that the Algerian terrorists had weapons from Libya. There is no doubt that the Malian remnants of AQIM [Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb] have weapons from Libya.[227]

Afghanistan

Main article: Afghanistan War

Obama escalated troop strength[228] and defense costs in Afghanistan from $43.5 billion in George Bush's last year to $113.7 billion for 2011.[229] Adviser to General Stanley McChrystal David Kilcullen wrote, "One of the big strategic shifts is the use of language now which talks about Pakistan and Afghanistan as the same theater. Now we talked about Af-Pak long before the Obama administration came about, but the public use of that term, and the description of it as the Afghanistan-Pakistan campaign, sends a new message to people about how the administration is going to think about Afghanistan and Pakistan."[228] T

Mexico

Eric Holder remains as Attorney General despite being held in Contempt of Congress. Others such as Rahm Emanual have departed in wake of the Fast & Furious revelations.[230]
Main article: Operation Fast and Furious

In May of 2010, President Obama promised Mexican President Felipe Calderon that his administration would assist Mexico in curbing drug cartel violence, which has led to 30,000 deaths in Mexico. "President Calderon and I . . . stand together against the drug cartels that have unleashed horrific violence in so many communities," Obama said on May 19. "Mexico can count on the United States as a full partner in this effort."

The Washington Post has reported however that White House officials stopped a requirement for gun dealers to report bulk sales of high-powered semiautomatic rifles commonly used by illegal drug cartels. Justice Department officials had asked for White House approval to require thousands of gun dealers along the border to report the purchases to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives. ATF investigators expected to get leads on suspected arms traffickers. Senior law enforcement sources said the proposal from the ATF was held up by then White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.[231] Gun dealers have been required for decades to report the sales of multiple handguns to the ATF.

Guantanamo Bay

Main article: Guantanamo Bay

One of Obama's campaign promises was that he would close the American detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba - detainees would be flown to other countries while the ones awaiting trial would enter the American court system. Two days after taking office he signed an order directing the military to do so.[232] But, in November 2009 Obama admitted that his self imposed deadline of January 2010 would be missed, and in March 2011 the president went back on his campaign promise, signing an executive order to create a formal system of indefinite detention for the prisoners.[232]

Russia

Obama criticized Conservative president of Russia, Vladimir Putin for carrying out a referendum for the seizure of Crimea to Russia.[233]

2012 Presidential Campaign

Main article: Presidential Election 2012

2011: Birth Certificate Released

Main article: Barack_Obama_Controversies#Birth_Certificate

On April 27, 2011[234], a long-running controversy surrounding Obama's birth was largely put to rest[235] when Obama had his long-form birth certificate posted at WhiteHouse.gov.[236] Donald Trump, who had attacked Obama on the Birth Certificate issue and was then leading Republicans in polls for the upcoming GOP primary[237], was effectively knocked out of the race because of this.[238]

The following is a timeline of previous events leading up to the release:

  • In June 2008 the Obama campaign allowed FactCheck.org to look at his “Certificate of Live Birth” and take photos.[239]
  • In July 2008 a blogger discovered a birth announcement from the Honolulu Advertiser from August 13, 1961 for Barack Obama. It has since been discovered another newspaper, the Star Bulletin, also documented the birth.[240]
  • PolitiFact went to extreme lengths to verify Obama’s citizenship, attaining scanned copies of his 1992 marriage certificate from Cook County, IL, his driver’s license record, and his registration and disciplinary record. PolitiFact also addressed a number of concerns about the documentation.[241]
  • In October 2008 Hawaii’s Department of Health released a statement by Dr. Chiyome Fu.kino verifying that Obama’s birth certificate was on record.[242]
  • In August 2009 it was revealed that an alleged Kenyan birth certificate for Obama was a hoax.[243] Another website allows you to create your own imitation Kenyan birth certificates online.[244]

2011: Death of Osama bin Laden

On May 1, 2011, Obama announced in a press conference[245][246] that Osama bin Laden was dead after a U.S. assault force infiltrated a compound in Abottobad, Pakistan.[247] Attacks on Americans and American consulate bureaus have since escalated as reprisals for bin Laden's death. Al Qaeda, once presumed broken and on the run, now functions openly throughout North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and parts of Eurasia. Relations with longtime ally Pakistan have become strained. Obama experienced only a temporary blip in approval polls.[248][249] Pakistan has denied White House claims that there was a deal with it allowing the raid.[250]

2012: Possible Ties to ACORN

According to Stanley Kurtz - author of Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism (2010) Obama in 1995 sought and obtained the endorsement of a left-wing third party, the New Party in his quest to be elected to the Illinois State Senate.[251] Obama's "Fight the Smears" campaign has denied this, as has Politico's Ben Smith.[252] Others who claim he was affiliated with the New Party/ACORN include The Blaze's Billy Hallowell[253], Breitbart's Joel Pollack, Human Events' Erick Erickson[254], Newsbusters' P.J. Gladnick[255], Rick Moran at AmericanThinker.com[256], and various writers at Discover the Networks (which include Kurtz and Erickson).[257]

Kurtz in 2012 has claimed to find minutes of the New Party Chicago chapter that say, "Barack Obama, candidate for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District, gave a statement to the membership and answered questions. He signed the New Party 'Candidate Contract' and requested an endorsement from the New Party. He also joined the New Party."[252] Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod responded to Kurtz with silence and when asked if that meant "yes or no", Axelrod stated, "You can take that as I have no idea what you are talking about."[258]

2012: "You didn't build that" Controversy

For a more detailed treatment, see You didn't build that.
On July 13, 2012, at a campaign event in Virginia, Obama gave a speech that immediately stirred up controversy. Speaking about the government's role in the success of private business, he said:[259]

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business - you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
The Romney campaign has used "If you’ve got a business - you didn’t build that" in ads to show America that Obama believes it is government that creates business rather than hard-working individuals. The Obama campaign has alternatively stated that the sentenced was poorly worded since he was not giving a scripted speech and that when Obama said "that" he was referring to roads and bridges. Obama points to a later portion of his speech in which he said, "The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together," to support his claim.

Results

On November 6, 2012 Barack Obama won reelection with 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 206.[260] Obama received 51% of the popular vote (65,899,660 votes) to Romney's 47% (60,932,152 votes).[261]

See also

External links

References

  1. http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/was-barack-obama-married-in-college/
  2. Candidate Comparison: Top Contributors 2008 Cycle. OpenSecrets.org.
  3. 2012 Presidential Race. OpenSecrets.org
    Opensecrets.org Barack Obama, 33% Individual contributions, 67% large and corporate.
  4. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/08/obama-has-millions-of-fake-twitter-followers/1#.UDfQVqA2et_
  5. http://www.sba-list.org/suzy-b-blog/obama-most-pro-abortion-president-ever
  6. Zuckerman, M.B. (2010, July 16). Obama's Anti-business Policies are our Economic Katrina. U.S. News.
    Barnes, F. (2009, July 22). An Anti-Business President. The Weekly Standard. Vol. 14, No. 38
    Shedlock, M. (2010, August 20). Small Businesses are not hiring. Why should they? Globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com.
    Wright, C.E. (2012, February 12). Dear Mr. President: Why we are not hiring. American Thinker.
  7. http://weaselzippers.us/2013/02/27/dnc-boosts-obama-sequester-job-loss-threat-of-750000-to-2-million
  8. President Obama's sequester, Chicago Tribune, February 26, 2013.
  9. Lillis, M. (2012, April 22). Sen. Lieberman declines to endorse in presidential race. The Hill.
  10. United States of America Long-Term Rating Lowered to 'AA+' on Political Risks and Rising Debt Burden; Outlook Negative. Standard & Poor's (August 5, 2011). Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  11. Figure 4: Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1959-2009. U.S. Census Bureau. Current Population Survey, 1960 to 2010 Annual Social and Economic Supplements.
  12. "The vast majority (73%) of respondents reported the fiscal stimulus enacted in February 2009 has had no impact on employment to date. While 68% also believe a jobs bill, such as the one recently enacted into law, will have no impact on payrolls, 30% do believe it will boost payrolls moderately".
    Industry Survey, National Association for Business Economics, April 2010, p. 2.
  13. Under Obama the U.S. National Debt has tripled. Source: U.S. Treasury; Federal Reserve Board.
  14. Chesser, S.G. (2012, July 12). Afghanistan Casualties: Military Forces and Civilians - CRS Report for Congress. Pg. 3. Congressional Research Service'.
  15. KABC-TV/DT (2011, July 27). Risk of anti-US violence up after Osama bin Laden's death. On ABC7 News.
  16. Pro-al Qaeda group seen behind deadly Benghazi attack, By Nic Robertson, Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister, CNN, September 13, 2012.
  17. Gallup. Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval.
  18. http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/barackobama/a/obama-isms.htm
  19. Sink, J. (2012, June 1). Obama apologizes in writing for 'Polish death camp' verbal gaffe.The Hill.
  20. Obama Trumpets Killing of Bin Laden, and Critics Pounce, By PETER BAKER and MICHAEL D. SHEAR, April 27, 2012.
  21. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/poll-americans-dissatisfied-economy
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 22.8 22.9 MSNBC (2008, February 20). "Obama Becomes Rising Star Among Democrats."
  23. Beginning in 1972, all Social Security numbers were issued from a central office in Baltimore, Maryland.[1]
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